Day 45

Another sea day means another slow start. Pat was happy at breakfast. She got her special whipped cream, which we pre-ordered yesterday, to put on top of her waffles and fresh fruit, her favorite at Vic’s Waffle House in Tewksbury, MA. Our door decoration received a participation award. You know what that means if you have kids in sports programs.

The first enrichment lecture by Terry Bishop was on “The Wild Colonial Boys.” They are called Bush Rangers in Australia, but in America they are known as outlaws. Terry sang several folk ballads relating to the legends of these outlaws. He discussed the bush ranger, Benjamin Hall, born in 1837, who started as a farmer but, unable to make that work, turned to crime in 1862 by robbing stage coaches and a hotel. In one of the coach robberies, he killed a policeman, turning him into a wanted man. During 1863-1865, he was credited with 100 robberies over 21 towns and 23 race horse thefts. One stage coach company published its route and time schedules with the caveat next to the time “Ben Hall permitting.” May 5, 1865, eight policemen ambushed Ben and put 30 bullet holes in him.

The next bush ranger legend was Ned Kelly, born in 1855. He did not like authority and got involved in fights and had to serve 3 months hard labor, and he stole horses, which got him another year. In 1878, his mother was arrested for some made up charge, because Ned was in hiding when the constable went to his house. Ned lived through one ambush, killing three policemen. In a bank robbery, he took money and asked the bank manager to get all the mortgages from the safe. The hostage customers looked on as Ned burned all the paper mortgages, telling the customers they no longer have a mortgage. He also passed out money to them before he left. The average person loved him more than the police. Authorities placed a bounty of 12,000 pound.  In a hotel in Glenrowan there was a final shootout. The building was surrounded by police pumping lead into the building continuously. Hotel patrons dove for cover while Ned returned fire. This lasted a long time but Ned survived. Anticipating the future, he had made himself metal body armor from plow shares. He sustained many minor gunshot injuries and lived to face his trial, where he was sentenced to hang on November 11, 1880. His last words were “Such is life.”

The second enrichment lecture by Professor George Losey was on a new subject not expected from him, “Beauty and Sexuality.” There have been many scientific studies trying to identify what beauty is. Is our behavior based on convention or instinct? How is evolution involved? There are many scientific research studies on facial shape, strength of voice, and male beards. Waist to hip ratio has a correlation in the perception of beauty, based on the society norms of pleasing body sizes. Pheromone sensors in humans have been studied and proven to exist. A Bern University study of Chromosome 6 – the major histocompatibility gene had shown sexier smells come from individuals with different immune complex genes, so opposites do attract.There seem to be more questions raised and less definitive answers. More research is needed.

We rushed to the noontime games to play Facts and Figures, a number and date guessing game. Our team came in first for three Regent points. After a brief rest in the suite, we got a light lunch of Hungarian goulash; that was tasty. The 2:30 game was indoor golf putting through targets. I blame our poor performance on a rocking ship. The 3:15 carpet bowling was better with my second-place finish. After a brief quiet time, the 4:30 trivia occurred and our team did not place in the top three.

Tonight was a 6PM variety show put on by the crew, called “Krew Kapers.” We didn’t realize our wait staff, cabin stewards, and bar tenders could also sing and dance. They put on a super performance!

We had a lovely dinner with Joanie and Art and Bob and Twila. Since it was formal night, the menu included Beef Wellington and Lobster Thermidor. Most of us went with the lobster. The evening entertainment was the second show of “Strings Alive with Colin and Simone.” They did wonderful arrangements of Bolero, Pachelbel’s Canon, Hungarian Rhapsody, and a few other classics I recognized but didn’t know by name. They also came out to greet the guests after the show.

Tonight, we move our clocks back another hour. Then we will be on Esperance and Perth time and 13 hours ahead of East Coast time. We did get to FaceTime with all of our children and grandchildren this morning between 8 and 10AM, which was 6 to 8PM for them. Tomorrow is Esperance and two excursions.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac